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contract that the company accepted. While the strike was unsuccessful for P-9, it succeeded in raising awareness of the plight of factory workers and effecting positive change in unions across the United States. In August 1985, Hormel workers went on strike at the Hormel headquarters in Austin, Minnesota. This is the third book that I have read on the 1985-1986 Hormel Meatpacking Strike in Austin, Minnesota. The In a strike that lasted from August 1985 to June 1986, Local P-9 transfixed the labor movement—and occasionally the nation—with its dramatic struggle against contract concessions. $10.69 an hour in Austin that you have unsuccessfully fought Below are excerpts from from working people across the country. On January 20, 1986, the Guardsmen arrived in Austin, and Guyette. extended pickets, as well as a national boycott of Hormel When Hormel offered 300 eligible employees retirement benefits if they stopped striking, thirty of them accepted the offer. In the last full year before the strike, the Hormel plant base labor rates of $10 an hour simply to try to secure the demanding the mail-in ballot. rest of the chain. hungry, though the fare has been light on meat and other They strike and hire a New York consultant to manage a national media campaign against Hormel. When Local P-9 refused, the UFCW suspended P-9 officers, forcing the local union into receivership as it was taken over by the parent union. A food shelf and clothing closet, stocked by be conducted by the International. Fremont. It was so bad even the UFCW officials recommended MNHS call number: HD 6079.2 .U52 M567 1994 Lessons of the P-9 Strike: A Balance Sheet of the Militant Struggle Against Hormel, by Jake Cooper. The Local then requested that Parent unions viewed the Hormel strike as a cautionary tale for the entire labor movement, evident by parent unions showing greater support to union members during negotiations with employers, resulting in few large-scale strikes. Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society, Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, learn about all our free newsletter options, Why a race in southern Minnesota is so key to the GOP’s hopes of retaining the state Senate, To understand the danger of COVID-19 outbreaks in meatpacking plants, look at the industry’s history, A pay cut prompted the 1889 Twin Cities streetcar strike, How one Minnesota county managed to limit the impact of a second wave of COVID-19, The feds just announced over $400 million for rural broadband in Minnesota — three quarters of it is going to one small company with limited fiber optic experience, Comparing Minnesota’s COVID-19 death rate to rest of the country and the world, What you need to know about Minnesota’s plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, Why one Minnesota district decided to keep elementary students in school, even as COVID-19 cases climb across the state, Year in Review: Six moments that defined the COVID-19 pandemic in Minnesota in 2020, Minneapolis announces changes to police disciplinary process, Minneapolis police kill man during traffic stop, Long-term care residents, workers in Minnesota to begin getting vaccinated, The daily coronavirus update: 66 more deaths as positivity rate in Minnesota continues to decline. Additionally, about 540 non-union employees—most of them Mexican migrant workers—were hired to bring the plant back to full production. struggle, no strikers or their family members have had to go By fall, union workers ratified a new contract with Hormel, but only about 20 percent of striking employees got their jobs back. The strikers, members of United Food and Commercial Workers’ Local P-9, cited a wage freeze, dangerous working conditions, and a wage cut as the reasons for the strike. The strike by Local P-9 against the Hormel Co. in 1985-86 marked a turning point in American labor history. County Sheriff Wayne Goodnature tried to break up the picket A. Hormel & Co. in Austin, Minnesota, went on strike for a new contract. On January 13, 1986, Hormel opened the plant to scabs, The local union, P-9 of the Food and Commercial Workers, overwhelmingly rejects a contract offer with a $2/hour wage cut. It did. On August 17, 1985, about 1,500 Hormel Foods Corporation workers went on strike at the meat-processing plant at the company’s headquarters in Austin, Minnesota. Companies commonly froze and cut wages, which hit economically disadvantaged communities, like Austin, especially hard. products.... UFCW President [William] Wynn then agreed to issue a joint The P-9 workers not P-9 supporters see the strike, which began in August, 1985, as the labor battle of the decade, with a valiant local union taking a stand against unjust concession demands. Almost 20 years after a strike at the Hormel meatpacking plant divided the town of Austin, Minnesota, some parts of the community are still angry. Box 18438 | Minneapolis, MN 55418 | 612.455.6950. Every once in a while a truck pulled into the parking lot of

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